Packing Light as a Travel Photographer


Packing my camera gear in my carry on

travel photography

I’ve had a few questions about what kit I use recently, and having just returned from a short trip to Lanzarote, where I took kit for two separate shoots (one film camera and my DSLR), I thought I’d break down the kit I took. My preference is always to pre-plan my kit so I can travel as minimally as possible (unless the brief calls for extra kit!) so I’m more mobile and don’t have to wait at baggage claims on the other side. Due to this, my travel preference has been to always travel with a rucksack, which is almost always a carry on (unless I’m going away for longer than three weeks/need a lot of kit) so everything, including my gear gets packed into a singular backpack and is carted around with me. The size of this backpack varies according to the amount of time I’ll be going away for, you can see the awesome camera backpack I travelled to Indonesia with for a month here.

I recently bought the camera backpack pictured above for travelling around London with my kit, as I can access my camera easily from the front pocket and can rearrange the interior pouches to fit the kit I’m using that day. It has a laptop sleeve inside and plenty of space/pockets for memory cards, lens caps, notebooks and rolls of film for my film camera, additionally, the bag has sections on the side where you can keep a compact tripod and reusable water bottle.

Lanzarote - 35mm

Lanzarote - 35mm

For this trip, I omitted taking my tripod as I’ll mainly be shooting outside in bright daylight, so I can shoot with a fast shutter speed, so I pared back the kit slightly.

For this trip I took -

  • 2-3 SD cards

  • 3 batteries

  • Battery charger

  • Plug adapters

  • Canon 5D Mark iii (DSLR)

  • Canon EOS 500 (analog)

  • Misc inc. lens cleaning kit, lens bags, caps etc

  • 2 x packs of film

  • 1 x LaCie rugged hard drive (these things are super sturdy)

I limited my lens selection to the following -

  • Canon 50mm f/1.4

  • Canon 16-35mm f/4

    I knew both lenses would cover my shoot needs, as they’re perfect for both lifestyle and landscape photography and I can use the lenses on my analog camera too!

I hope this was useful, I’m thinking of creating a blog that looks at my full kit list in the future, in the meantime, feel free to DM/comment with any kit questions you may have!

Taken on my Canon 5D Mark iii

Taken on my Canon 5D Mark iii